Shannon Devereaux Sanford

WRADvocate Profile: Shannon Devereaux Sanford

Shannon Devereaux Sanford is a media personality and our New York WRADvocate. She is the host of a radio segment called "Shannon's Corner" on WTBQ Radio at 1110 AM & 93.5 FM, and will be promoting WRAD through the airwaves. 

Read along to learn more about Shannon:

1. Is there a particular book that has changed your life in some way and why?

Absolutely! My favorite book is Somerset Maugham’s The Razor’s Edge. I read this first as a teenager and have re-read many times since, especially in my 20’s. I loved the main character, Larry Darrell and his quiet, sophisticated rebellion that led him to travel the world in search of honesty and wisdom. I admire the independence in his character and his ego-less, genuine caring of others. I still re-read this book when I want to be reminded that following your own inner compass is essential and the greatest gift in life is found in self-less giving, requiring only sincerity in return.

2. How has what you've read influenced you professionally?

I think everything we read influences us in some way and what we are professionally is a large part of who we are. I tend to read books that remind me of how our differences are what make us unique individuals, though ultimately we are all the same. I love the freedom books can give us, the freedom to see the world through a larger lens. I use that sweeping perspective in interviewing authors and other radio guests who are looking to share their insight, knowledge and ideas with listeners so they too can open up their world.

3. What advice would you give to teachers, parents and caregivers who want to reach their struggling readers?

Make it special! Make if entertaining and privileged. Make reading an activity where the reader has the ability to interpret those words on the page into their personal world. That is the difference in reading, it is an activity that can be done alone and its interpretation is unique, just like the reader.

4. What book do you think young people should not miss?

My daughter in now in high school but the books she read in middle school changed her view of the world. It reminded me how important classic books such as To Kill A Mockingbird and Of Mice and Men are to read when you are young. They bring a human perspective to young people at an age when they are sure the world is just about them. In reading these books they suddenly are aware of injustice, prejudice and pain in
the world consequently making them so appreciate of all they have.

5. Will you share with us some final meditations on the power of the read aloud and of reading in general to the emotional lives of children and for all people?

Reading aloud combines two of the most powerful experiences that communication can bring: the power of the written word and the power of speech. Even in a group the book talks to ‘just you’ when read aloud. The words communicate to each individual directly as they leap off the page and become real – they have magic in them! Reading aloud brings the story alive for younger children who can’t read, opening up the world that has been written in those pages in a way that they can’t do on their own. It is pathway to the richly rewarding world of books that they will be experiencing for many years to come.

Learn more about Shannon's work through her website here.